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Synopsis: Instructional Design in Business and Industry

Acronym: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, Evaluation

Note: This is part V in a series of summaries on instructional design articles. 

Tracey, M., & Morrison, G. R. (2012). Instructional design in business and industry. In R. A. Reiser & J. V. Dempsey (Eds.) Trends & issues in instructional design & technology (3rd ed.). (pp. 178-186). Columbus, OH: Merrill-Prentice Hall

Tracey and Morrison described the role of instructional design (ID) in business and industry.  They explained the multiple roles instructional designers embrace on the job: instructional design, human performance technology, training, and solving organizational problems.  In the private sector, instructional designers work as the sole designer, team member/leader, or as an external designer/consultant. Since the 1980’s, there has been a steady growth in the area of ID in the business world. The increase reflects the emphasis placed on improving human performance at the workplace.

The authors discussed three different types of constraints that affect the design process: contextual, designer-related, and project management versus instructional design. Potential contextual constraints include lack of time and resources, the locus of control for decision-making, and ineffective tools and techniques. Designer-related constraints include perceived necessity, philosophical beliefs/theoretical perspectives, and expertise.  For example, expertise sometimes is a hindrance if the expert only relies on their mindset for the instructional design process instead of collaborating with others.  Lastly, large projects cause difficulty with the time involved in the systematic instructional design methods; therefore, those facing this type of constraint should consider delegating a specialist or delegate to oversee the process instead of burdening the general project manager.

They mentioned four methods to achieve ID goals more quickly and efficiently:  designer-as-researcher, rapid prototyping, technology-based training delivery, and advanced evaluation techniques.  In my opinion, each method could be used with most ID projects in the analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation (ADDIE) phases.  For example, the designer-as-researcher utilizes foundational theory and research-based practices to design the instructional framework, instructional strategies, and learning process. Rapid prototyping is used in the developmental phase to help inform the ID team of any glitches. Technology-based training delivery is used in the implementation phase to cut travel costs, etc. Lastly, the advanced evaluation techniques is used in the  evaluation phase to inform the redesign, as needed.

Synopsis: Knowledge Management and Learning

Organizational development books on a shelf
My Bookshelf


Note: This is part IV in a series on instructional design articles.

Rosenberg, M. J. (2012). Knowledge management and learning: Perfect together. In R.A. Reiser & J.V. Dempsey (Eds.) Trends & issues in instructional design & technology (3rd ed.). (pp. 158-168). Boston: Allyn & Bacon Pearson Education.

According to Rosenberg, knowledge management (KM) is an examination of the boundaries of our practice. It affects everything everywhere. He claimed that KM was revolutionary, but in my humble opinion, I think it deals with being organized, proactive, and thinking outside the box. There are four types of knowledge: explicit (you can explain), tacit (you can access it), common or organizational, and undiscovered. Undiscovered knowledge refers to the hiccups or missteps in information that is not disseminated to the person in need. Also, it refers to knowledge that is not yet known but could greatly benefit an organization. Rosenberg gives the example of the product innovation that goes unnoticed. He stated that undiscovered knowledge is the most critical to an organization, and I strongly agree.

Knowledge can take many forms such as documents, presentations, collaboration, expertise, as well as technology. According to Rosenberg, instructional designers need to know how to identify, organize, and distribute knowledge content.  KM systems need to have these three components to be successful systems: codification (metadata), collaboration (buy-in and sharing of information), and access (user-friendly). These components need a comprehensive organizationwide database.  For example, at the center where I work, we have a shared drive to place our work into various folders of information to provide access to all staff and to store it.

Interestingly, I already held the idea of the critical importance of organizing data for an organization.  This is due in part to having held numerous jobs in different settings.  Each setting represented a new KM system of document storage and retrieval.  Oftentimes, it can be extremely confusing to a new member to find needed information at the right time.  Moreover, I agree that KM should be viewed as a performance support for blended learning.  By bringing in online tools, techniques, and content to the face-to-face (F2F) class, we provide information to supplement the content.  Conversely, we may also offer the option of F2F activities to supplement online courses.  All of this knowledge should be codified accordingly for easy access and management.

Synopsis: Managing Scarce Resources in Training Projects

Presenter at white screen giving a presentation
Professional Development

Note: Part III in a series on instructional design articles. This photo was taken of Sandra at the Juvenile Justice Education Institute during her presentation.

According to Goldsmith and Busby, effective management decisions are based on an understanding of resource scarcity and supply and demand. There are three types of resources: people, time, and money. Scarcity occurs when the demand exceeds the supply. Supply and demand refer to an economic condition. Understanding the economic cycle between supply and demand is important for an instructional designer. For example, they should be aware of the stages of an economic cycle: growth, peak, decline, and trough. They also need to know what solutions organizations will take to address economic changes and how these will affect the overall performance of an organization and each individual.

The authors described the various characteristics of an economic cycle. For example, we are currently in an unstable environment because of the fluctuations in the stock market, the volatile housing market, and high unemployment.  This is the dynamic cycle of our economy that affects every organization.  The cycles are difficult to predict and are unclear until after much time has passed, and the stages have been plotted. Hence, the economic cycle is unsmooth and can cause lag (good lag and bad lag) for a training program, a new products invention, or with the new technology purchases.  An example of a bad lag in the economic cycle would be the economic dissonance of creating a new product when the demand has already waned.

Goldsmith, J. J., & Busby, R. D. (2012). Managing scarce resources in training projects. In R. A. Reiser & J. V. Dempsey (Eds.) Trends & issues in instructional design & technology (3rd ed.). (pp. 126-134). Columbus, OH: Merrill-Prentice Hall.

Synopsis: DOD Handbook on Instructional Systems Development

Note: This is part two in a series of synopsis from articles and documents that I have read regarding instructional design.

Source: DOD; Brad White
Source: DOD; Brad White

Department of Defense (2001, August 31). Instructional systems development/Systems approach to training and education (Part 2 of 5 parts). Washington, DC: Department of Defense.      MIL-HDBK-29612-21.

The Department of Defense (DOD) Handbook serves as a guide for solicitations of evaluations of training or responses to training solicitations. Instructional designers are urged to follow the instructional systems design (ISD) and systems approach to training (SAT) prescribed in the handbook; however, the actual sequence of events can be altered if deemed necessary. ISD and SAT both use the systematic process of analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation process for producing an effective and efficient outcome.  The SAT is geared toward the system functions such as management, delivery, and support. Therefore, SAT focuses on mission analysis: collective tasks, job analysis, individual task analysis, and training task analysis. While the ISD generally focuses on the development of instructional programs; it does recognize that instruction is not always the solution. Part of the ISD/SAT process is to determine if noninstructional solutions are possible.

A major component of the ISD/SAT process is continuous improvement. The formative evaluation begins during the analysis phase and continues throughout the design and development. Furthermore, it is carried over into the field trials and into full implementation through a procedure for process improvement. Steps include defining the problem, analyzing the cause, identifying solutions, implementing and monitoring changes, institutionalizing these changes, and repeating the continuous improvement cycle.  A simple way to monitor a process is through the chart it/check it/change it stepwise process. The DOD suggests using the Shewhart Cycle as part of the ISD/SAT for quality assurance. The cycle is very basic with four steps in the process: plan an approach, do the activity, check the results, and act on the results. It is an iterative process.

In my opinion, I appreciated the simple language and the various definitions provided by the DOD Handbook. I felt like I could follow these guidelines to respond to a solicitation for training by a military branch. I noticed that the military used the acronym of ADDIE (analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation) to describe the ISD/SAT components but did not use the term, as ADDIE is not an ISD model. I plan to use some of their clear definitions for my course work. Moreover, I am interested in obtaining the rest of the parts of this manual for future reference, especially their media specification requirements.

Synopsis: Performance, Instruction, and Technology in Health Care Education

Note: Now that I’m in graduate school again, I do a lot less blogging due to all my homework. Therefore, I decided to share my homework on instructional design.  Plus, I thought it’d be a great way to review for comprehensive exams.

Cartoon image of health care professionals in a maze.
Source: John Hersey of Inc Magazine

Locatis, C., (2012). Performance, instruction, and technology in health care education. In R. A. Reiser & J. V. Dempsey (Eds.) Trends & issues in instructional design & technology (3rd ed.). (pp. 178-186). Columbus, OH: Merrill-Prentice Hall.

Performance in the health care field  is critical. It differs from other fields that allow for marginal errors and second chances. Therefore, learning health science education is paramount in life or death matters for those whose lives are touched by health care professionals. Locatis described historical and current trends in health care instruction and use of emergent technologies as they affect performance.  The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and researchers have been influential in changing teaching methodologies from laboratory and hospital-based to that of problem-based learning (PBL) and evidence-based medicine (EBM). Moreover, the AAMC called for the inclusion of informatics in medical curriculum.  Informatics refers to the use of information management systems such as databases, expert systems, educational simulations, robotics (programmed mannequins), and virtual reality environments.

Locatis described the history of medical education in three phases: prescientific, scientific, and post-Flexner.  The prescientific phase for the U.S. refers to the time prior to the 20th century.  The author stated that the anatomically structured drawings by Andreas Vesalius and Leonardo da Vinci are considered the beginnings of educational technology since they are based on direct observations and not speculation. A report written by Abraham Flexner published in 1910 by the Carnegie Foundation moved the field of medical teaching into the scientific phase.  For instance, Flexner called for a more formal education of medical practitioners to include an academic setting and affiliations with local hospitals. This provided academic rigor to the study of medicine, whereas before the graduates from commercial programs and independent schools were only accountable for memorization of symptoms and remedies.

In my opinion, the health care system is at a critical juncture with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010), which will provide more citizens with health care than ever before.  A secondary goal of this act is to streamline the delivery of said health care.  The use of educational and informational applications (informatics) is necessary to address this influx of customers and streamlining of information properly.  First, it should inform the health care provider of the latest findings for a symptom or illness. Secondly, it should inform the patient of his rights to the side effects or alternatives to prescribed procedures and medicines. Thirdly, it should aid the health care providers with a smart system for collecting the appropriate information on their patients/customers. I appreciated how Locatis illustrated the rationale for instructional technology by describing the sensory nature of raw data. For example, the use of multimedia in health care systems can help students and practitioners learn about the data collected by including the sounds, images, and real time events.

Virtual Student Foreign Service Internship Project: Spanish Language Websites

2 Cars driving along the sea wall
Havana, Cuba

Over this past school year, I’ve been serving as a virtual intern for the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, Cuba (USINT Havana). It’s a Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS) internship through the US State Department. I communicate via email with my program coordinator in Havana.  We’ve been working on two major projects: a Kindle literacy book club project and updating their organization’s website with links to educational bilingual sites.  USINT Havana requested a list of a variety of web resources in Spanish to include under the “Resource” tab on the USINT homepage, as well as a review of the existing links listed on their site.  Improving the list of Spanish language websites would increase traffic to USINT’s Web page, provide better access for new Internet users unaccustomed to searching the web, and help ensure their Internet time at the centers is used for educational purposes.

I’d like to share some of the bilingual (Spanish/English) educational websites that I found. They address children, juveniles, and adults. The topics include  literature,  K-12 Education, free e-magazines, and general resources on the US and Cuba.  There are several constraints to the learning environment in Cuba. One being the lack of high-speed Internet. Unfortunately, this restricted flash media such as videos and gaming websites from our list. Additionally, the lack of English knowledge is another constraint. Therefore, I selected either fully Spanish or bilingual sites. I was actually amazed at how little I could find in Spanish.  If you have some great sites to share, please leave a comment. The project will finish in April.

Journalism/ Periodismo
http://www.nuso.org Nueva Sociedad es una revista sobre la democracia y politica en la America Latina.
http://www.javeriana.edu.co/Facultades/C_Sociales/universitas/numeros.htmlUniversitas Humanística es una revista sobre la antropologia y sociologia.
http://www.angelfire.com/planet/islas/Spanish/Islas.htm “Islas” es una revista trimestral dedicada a los temas afrocubanos.
http://www.letraslibres.com/revistaLetras Libres es una revista mensual de crítica y creación, fundada en 1999 y heredera de la tradición y el ánimo de la revista Vuelta fundada por Octavio Paz.
http://www.cubaencuentro.com/revista/revista-encuentro Sitio Web de la revista Encuentro de la Cultura Cubana
http://www.habanaelegante.com/La Habana Elegante es una revista semestral de la literatura y cultura cubana, caribeña, latinoamericana, y de estética.
http://www.cajastur.es/clubdoblea/revista/pdf/magazine23.pdf Cajastur es una revista sobre España para los menores.

References/ Referencias

https://www.google.com/Google ofrece herramientas gratuitas de publicación y colaboración tales como documentos, hojas de cálculo, formas, diapositivas, eventos y dibujos graficos. Se puede cambiar la configuración para español.
http://cafefuerte.com/CafeFuerte ofrece noticias, cultura y eventos sobre los cubanos.
 http://elibraryusa.state.gov/resources.htmleLibraryUSA ofrece información sobre la investigación, la empresa, la universidad, el cine, la ciencia y la salud. También cuenta con libros electrónicos y una enciclopedia. Se necesita un código de acceso especial para utilizarlo.
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:PortadaWikipedia es una enciclopedia de contenido libre que todos pueden editar.
 http://www.diariodecuba.com/DiarioCuba ofrece noticias, cultura y eventos sobre los cubanos.
http://www.tuotromedico.com/TuOtroMedico ofrece asesoramiento gratuito médica sobre su salud.
 http://www.usa.gov/gobiernousa/Temas.shtmlInformación para los hispanohablantes que viven en los EE.UU. sobre cómo acceder a los recursos del gobierno.
http://www.elboricua.com/Información para los hispanohablantes que viven en los EE.UU. sobre cómo acceder a los recursos del gobierno.
http://www.cubanet.org/(Unsure of origin)
http://pdba.georgetown.edu/Georgetown University Website
http://lanic.utexas.edu/la/cb/cuba/University of Texas website on Cuba


http://www.colorincolorado.org/familias/ColorinColorado incluye actividades de alfabetización bilingüe para los padres, estudiantes y maestros.
http://pbskids.org/mayaandmiguel/espanol/print/index.htmlIncluye actividades de alfabetización bilingüe para los padres, estudiantes y maestros.
http://www.storyplace.org/sp/preschool/activities/petsonstory.aspStoryPlace ofrece historias preescolares en español.
http://www.cyberkidzjuegos.com/CyberKidsJuegos ofrece juegos para la escuela primaria.
http://www.languageguide.org/spanish-mexico/LanguageGuide ofrece atividades del idioma espanol para los niños.
http://www.elboricua.com/canciones_infantiles.htmlEl Boricua ofrece canciones de los niños puertorriqueños.
http://www.123teachme.com/learn_spanish/spanish_for_children123TeachMe ofrece actividades de alfabetización.


http://www.lamaquinadeltiempo.com/Poe/indexpoe.htmLaMaquinaDelTiempo venden libros y CDs; sin embargo, ofrecen acceso gratuito a la poesía y la prosa.
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/36990El Proyecto del Gutenberg tiene 25 ebooks en español y 40.000 ebooks en Inglés.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771Kindle permite a cualquier persona a descargar esta aplicación gratuita por su teléfono inteligente o computadora para leer libros electrónicos.

Photo Source: Sandra Rogers, 2008